Prescription drug abuse a concern among Ohio pharmacists - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Prescription drug abuse a concern among Ohio pharmacists

Posted: Updated:

NILES, Ohio - According to the Ohio Department of Health, every five hours an Ohioan dies from an accidental drug overdose. Nearly half of those deaths involve prescription pain medicine.

The misuse of the medication was a main topic among members of the Eastern Ohio Pharmacists Association. The group that consists of a couple hundred pharmacists from six Ohio counties gathered Tuesday evening at McMenamy's Restaurant and Banquet Center.

"A lot of times it's within a persons make up that they don't even realize," said EOPA President Paul Witkowski. "I think many times it happens totally unexpectedly that a person now becomes dependent upon a prescription medication that they never really had that thought or had a tendency before hand."

Mahoning County Drug Court Judge John Durkin was a guest speaker at the event. He says 15 years ago the most commonly abused drugs were cocaine or marijuana but today prescription medication is readily available.

"Too many people are getting access, whether from medicine cabinets or physicians who are over prescribing prescription pain pills that people end up addicted to them," said Durkin.

As the trend in addiction changes, so does the road to recovery.

While efforts can be made to reduce the availability of prescription drugs, Durkin warns addicts may then turn to street drugs.

"If we're eliminating the prescription pain pills it's probably too late for them," said Durkin. "Because they are already addicted and they're resorting to street drugs like heroin."

Durkin explains a fairly new trend of treatment for prescription drug abuse works to wean addicts from their addiction using both traditional recovery methods as well as some medication.

Many pharmacists believe they can play a key role in helping to combat the abuse.

"We're the ones to take care of the drugs, to protect the drug supply, to make sure they are safe, that they are effective and going to the people that need them," said Witkowski. "If a person is coming into a store from 50 miles away to fill a prescription that's a red flag."

But many agree the best solution to the epidemic is education and awareness.

"Our drug court is going out to schools, even middle schools to attempt to educate students even at the 7th and 8th grade level," said Durkin. "As well as parents and grandparents, to address the next generation."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    US: Russia 'created the conditions' for shoot-down

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:33 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:33:53 GMT
    The Obama administration said Tuesday it would present data from the U.S. intelligence community laying out what's known about the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in Ukraine.More >>
    Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian...More >>
  • Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:42:54 GMT
    Israel bombed five mosques, a sports stadium and the home of the late Hamas military chief across the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, a Gaza police official said, as the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state...More >>
    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot...More >>
  • Ohio fair's butter cows named Scarlet and Grayce

    Ohio fair's butter cows named Scarlet and Grayce

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:51:37 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Scarlet and Grayce. Those are the names of the traditional butter sculptures of a cow and calf at this year's Ohio State Fair. The names announced Tuesday by fair officials after a naming contest on Twitter are a play on the Ohio State University colors, scarlet and gray. Also presented Tuesday were other Ohio icons carved from butter, including a whitetail deer, paw paw fruit, carnation and spotted salamander. Two sculptors worked on this year's creations, crafting the...More >>
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Scarlet and Grayce. Those are the names of the traditional butter sculptures of a cow and calf at this year's Ohio State Fair. The names announced Tuesday by fair officials after a naming contest on Twitter are a play on the Ohio State University colors, scarlet and gray. Also presented Tuesday were other Ohio icons carved from butter, including a whitetail deer, paw paw fruit, carnation and spotted salamander. Two sculptors worked on this year's creations, crafting the...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms